Anna Kate Wirsing

Goochland’s Anna Kate Wirsing (left) competes alongside John Williams in the girls and boys 4x800-meter relays during a 2019 regular season home track and field meet.

For Anna Kate Wirsing, endurance is a specialty.

Whether it was cross country, track and field or swimming, you could count on seeing the Goochland High School multisport standout representing her school and county at home and away meets across the athletic calendar.

She hasn’t stopped there.

Wirsing took on the Pink Power Triathlon - her first-ever tri - in eighth grade, and she's been running, biking and swimming in triathlons ever since.

Wirsing went as far as qualifying for and competing in the 2019 ITU World Triathlon championships held this past Labor Day weekend in Lausanne, Switzerland. She placed 18th in the female 16-19 age group with an overall time of 1:16:29 and a 15th-best running-stretch time of 23:04.

She also ranked fourth-best among the 10 age 16-19 U.S. girls who completed the race.

“It’s just an amazing experience and opportunity I was given,” she said in September. “It really shows how much effort you have to put in to accomplish what you can achieve.”

Wirsing also won the individual James River District girls cross country district championship race in 21:31 and helped her Goochland High School teammates capture the girls team district championship.

She plans on attending Liberty University to get her degree in exercise science. She’s also going to be a member of Liberty’s triathlon team.

Wirsing was getting ready to take on her final outdoor track and field season for Goochland this spring, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of Virginia schools for the rest of the school year and the subsequent cancellation of the Virginia High School League spring sports season.

Wirsing talked about how she got into track and field, what her coaches and teammates were like and how she’s preparing for and looking at the next steps in her academic and athletic careers.

Goochland Gazette: How did you first get into the sport you compete in during the spring, and how long have you been competing?

Wirsing: I started track back in 8th grade when some of my friends persuaded me to try the sport out since I was not doing gymnastics anymore.

GG: What made you enjoy or fall in love with the sport?

Wirsing: I fell in love with the sport because of the intensity, competition and atmosphere.

GG: What do you feel you brought to the field and to the team that helped you stand out and/or contribute?

Wirsing: I feel like I brought my determination and my leadership skills to the sport.

GG: What was it like competing with your team in that sport? What were your teammates and coaches like?

Wirsing: Well my coaches knew me really well, so they knew my limits. They were constantly pushing me to do my best.

On the team we are close with each other, and it gives it a sense of family.

GG: What are your two or three favorite memories from games, practices and/or hanging out with your teammates?

Wirsing: One of the memories is my freshman year ... we would always throw the frisbee at the track meets. Another one is we would typically hang up hammocks at the longer meets.

GG: Are there life lessons or takeaways that go beyond the field that the game helped you to see or realize?

Wirsing: I have learned that it takes a lot of practice and hard work to become better and achieve your goals.

GG: How tough was it for you to find out there would be no spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Wirsing: It was tough to hear that my last year of track was over. I was counting on track to also help build speed for my triathlon season over the summer. I was also building and spending more time with my coaches and friends before I left for college.

GG: If you’re competing at the next level, how are you staying in shape, and has losing the spring season given you extra motivation towards your goals?

Wirsing: I am doing triathlons at a collegiate level. I have still been putting in the hours and time into the sport, making sure I am getting a workout in everyday with cardio after every exercise. Instead of looking at this with a glass half empty, I can look at it glass-half-full, as an opportunity to improve.

GG: Is there anything you would like to add?

Wirsing: I want to say thank you for the people [who] helped volunteer and put in time to help the sports at Goochland High School.

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